Despite rumours of its demise (usually by social media promoters), email remains the most trusted method of direct marketing and is a personal favourite for the majority of consumers in Australia.
According to data supplied by Exact Target:
- Nearly 60% of adults check their email first thing in the morning.
- 67% of people provide their email address to companies to receive information about promotions and discounts and
- 77% of people surveyed chose email as the preferred means of receiving promotional information.
Open rates average around 30% – but are dependent on a number of things including the health of your database and your subject lines. However, the average click-through rate for emails hovers around just 4%.
Here are some tips to help improve your e-news conversion rate.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Many clubs still use the “one size fits all” policy with their email newsletters meaning that they send the exact same message to all members, whether it is relevant or not. There is no way a 60-year-old female patron will have the same interests and response buttons as a 30-year-old male, yet many clubs continue to send them the exact same newsletter.
Segmenting your data base equals more relevance which in turn translates into more engagement, more trust and ultimately more response and revenue.
There are plenty of ways to segment your data base: by sex, by age, by interests, by visitation, by tier level and so on.
Remember your e-newsletter is really about “them” the members, not the “us” the club. You want to send your members information they actually want and are interested in, not what you want to push out.
It might take more time and effort, but the returns will be worth it.
Make sure you have relevant auto response email messages set-up in your systems.
For example, if a patron books a show online, have an auto response email message that not only thanks them for booking and confirms that booking, but also suggests dining options within the club with a link to booking for dinner.
If you have online membership renewals, use an auto response to thank them for renewing and providing a timely offer or incentive to encourage them to visit the club. Alternatively, you may offer a membership upgrade (multi-year) and an incentive for doing so.
These messages can change as needed (you don’t want to offer the same thing each time a person interacts) but the message should always be relevant to the initial enquiry.
Don’t promote a gym pass for a show booking, or a mid-week members draw with Saturday night dinner booking for example. They aren’t relevant to the patrons initial enquiry and demonstrate a lack of care and understanding for the customer.
MAKE IT SNAPPY
Make sure your email does not contain huge chunks of copy. Copy should be short and concise and include a link back to your website for more information, for bookings or to view additional content.
People scan pages rather than reading them in detail, so you need to capture their attention quickly. Another way to do this is through good imagery.
We process visual information 60,000 times faster than text and more people click through on an email because of an interesting picture rather than the words.
Images are more shared on Facebook than status updates or links, and videos are shared more than photos.
MAKE IT MOBILE FRIENDLY
Over 50% of all emails in Australia today are read on mobile devices, surpassing laptops and desktops.
Australian are increasingly using their smartphone and tablet devices to be entertained, stay socially connected and access the latest information on the go, and that includes emails.
Over 15 million Australians now own a smartphone and some 12 million own a tablet device, The latest edition of the IAB Australia and Nielsen Mobile Ratings Report revealed Australian smartphone owners spent around 35 hours each month engaging with digital content – averaging more than one hour per day.
Time spent on a smartphone continues to grow and is now higher than any other digital device, however, they are short, frequent sessions. And it is expected that this frequency will continue to surge. (Refer back to previous point “Make it snappy!)
All this adds up to is people accessing more and more data on the go so if your email and website are not optimised for mobile use, you need to fix that now.
COMBINE SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL CONTENT
Anytime that you send an email, or a Facebook update, or a tweet, or post a clip on YouTube or use any other social media channel, the chances that a patron will see that one single piece of communication is relatively slim. So because of this, email and social media need to work together to improve those odds when sending a communication.
Here are some things you can do to give your members more options to interact with you:
- Have an email opt-in Facebook tab.
- Increase opt-in conversion rate with social sign-in
- Feature a Facebook “like” request in email opt-in confirmation messages
- Add a Facebook “like” request on email unsubscribe pages
- Deploy Facebook content in emails i.e. you can new see subjects that your customers are interested in, so use those subjects in your emails.
Finally, stop sending out emails with a subject line like “Club ABC newsletter or what’s on at ABC Club”.
If you’ve done your homework above and are targeting your members separately make sure you engage them instantly with a headline that grabs attention and invites them to engage.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so use it wisely.
If you give people a chance to think they might have a look later ….you’ve lost them. You need to engage them immediately.